Campidoglio: : Michelangelo's Roman Capital

Liberman, Alexander; Joseph Brodsky

Published by Random House, 1994
ISBN 10: 0679430520 / ISBN 13: 9780679430520
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Synopsis: The Campidoglio, the Roman Capitol, stands on the peak of the smallest of Rome's seven hills. The epicenter of the Roman Empire, it was transformed by Michelangelo into one of the most imposing architectural compositions of all time, grand environment for the political life of a great city. Michelangelo's design for the Piazza del Campidoglio was one of the first efforts to make a public space in which all the elements function as a whole. At the center of a trapezoidal area, flanked by three palaces, was the ancient Roman equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, the second-century ruler who presided over the waning clays of the empire. Alexander Liberman has photographed the statue and its environs in all kinds of light and from all angles over a period of years. The result is a stunning photographic essay on one of the most dramatic monuments ever constructed.

"Of all the Roman emperors, Marcus Aurelius gets the best press," Joseph Brodsky writes in the witty and profound essay that accompanies Liberman's photographs. "Historians love him, and so do philosophers." He was the model philosopher-king, remembered now mostly for his Meditations, writings on morality, virtue, and rationality. "If that book hasn't civilized us, what will?" Brodsky notes. A supplementary text on the art and architecture of the Campidoglio formed by Michelangelo into one of the most imposing architectural compositions of all time, a grand environment for the political life of a great city. Michelangelo's design for the Piazza del Campidoglio was one of the first efforts to make a public space in which all the elements function as a whole. At the center of a trapezoidal area, flanked by three palaces, was the ancient Roman equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, the second-century ruler who presided over the waning days of the empire. Alexander Liberman has photographed the statue and its environs in all kinds of light and from all angles over a period of years. The result is a stunning photographic essay on one of the most dramatic public monuments ever constructed.

"Of all the Roman emperors, Marcus Aurelius gets the best press," Joseph Brodsky writes in the witty and profound essay that accompanies Liberman's photographs. "Historians love him, and so do philosophers." He was the model philosopher-king, remembered now mostly for his Meditations, writings on morality, virtue, and rationality. "If that book hasn't civilized us, what will?" Brodsky notes. A supplementary text on the art and architecture of the Campidoglio has been contributed by Diane Kelder.

About the Author: Alexander Liberman was born in Russia in 1912 and educated in London and Paris. In the early 1940s, Mr. Liberman emigrated to New York and soon became the art director of Vogue magazine, while pursuing a distinguished career as a sculptor, painter, and photographer. In 1962 he became the editorial director of all Conde Nast magazines, a position he held until 1994, when he became deputy chairman of Conde Nast. He is the author of Greece, Gods and Art (1968), The Artist in His Studio (1960 and 1988), and Marlene: An Intimate Photographic Memoir (1992).

Joseph Brodsky, winner of the 1987 Nobel Prize for Literature, was born in 1940 in Leningrad and began writing poetry at the age of eighteen. Anna Akhmatova soon recognized in the young poet the most gifted lyric voice of his generation. In 1972 Brodsky became an involuntary exile from his native country, and after brief stays in Vienna and London he came to the United States. His Selected Poems appeared in 1973, and he has subsequently published several volumes of poetry and essays. He is Andrew Mellon Professor of Literature at Mount Holyoke College.

Diane Kelder is a Professor of Art History at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and the College of Staten Island. She is the author of nine books on subjects ranging from Renaissance art to Post-Impressionism.

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Title: Campidoglio: : Michelangelo's Roman Capital
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: 1994
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: Fine
Edition: First Edition; First Printing

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